We need electricity in camp. Microscopes, centrifuges, fume hoods, lights, cameras, radios, computers, microwave oven, and the infamous coffee (dribble)maker use it. How do we make electricity here? Three sources: (1) solar, (2) wind, (3) diesel. Back in the 80's we only had a diesel generator, and we burned about 10 barrels of fuel each season. With improvements in alternative energy technology, we're down to burning 2 barrels. We do more science than ever before, yet have reduced our carbon footprint dramatically.
The power system at camp centers around a box full of batteries. The electrical input (solar when it's sunny, wind when it's windy, diesel when it's neither) is stored in these batteries, and a computer system ensures that the proper current is delivered.